The power of storytelling in songwriting has given birth to some of our most unforgettable songs like "Crossroads" by Robert Johnson, "Drifter's Escape" by Bob Dylan or "A Boy Named Sue" by Johnny Cash. Songs that spin narratives from the art of nonfiction usually find a place in listeners' hearts a ... More >>
Texas -- or at least its lawmakers -- is not fond of Tesla, the electric car seller. In 2013, lawmakers blocked a bill that would have allowed the company to bypass auto dealers and sell directly to consumers. For Tesla the car manufacturer -- the one that just put Texas on the shortlist for a $5 b ... More >>
Wait. The State Fair of Texas spent $30 million to start up a new summertime amusement park at Fair Park. It ran one season -- two months plus a week -- last summer. Now they're giving up already? No second season? What is this, Broadway? You put in $30 million, and it's such a bust from the get- ... More >>
How the U.S. Chamber of Commerce became the greatest (bumbling) enemy of America.
How to embrace -- or reject -- a family secret.
Or was it all three?
Temple Smith was a farsighted man. In 1913, the president of Fredericksburg's first bank had sense enough to help finance the construction of a rail line between Fredericksburg and Comfort. A small town, Bankersmith, was settled there, but Smith saw beyond the relative boom that brought a post offic ... More >>
Neo-Nazis, burritos and the tortilla-wrapped destiny of SB 1070.
Oh, boy. Another chance to say something good about Detroit. Nothing gets a bigger rise out of a certain element among you loyal Lawners than when I utter anything even faintly complimentary about my hometown. For reasons I may never fully understand, I would incite less mouth-foaming if I sang the ... More >>
Texas breeding cattle chased the rain in 2011 to plains states such as Nebraska, South Dakota and Kansas -- even all the way to Florida -- tripling the amount shipped out of state the year before. That 150,000 head left this stricken country is only the latest metric by which to judge the huge toll ... More >>
Victoria Jackson went from the big leagues of comedy to the rabid right of modern politics.
Photo by Brandon ThibodeauxTexas cattle country lost some 600,000 head this year -- a 12-percent reduction in the herd -- driven by a drought that withered grasses and baked river beds and stock ponds. It's the kind of en masse decline the likes of which this state hasn't seen since drought r ... More >>
Hey, one last shout out here for the Occupy Dallas people who camped at City Hall. I know you took a lot of grief from people who didn't understand why you were doing what you were doing, including me a little bit at one point. I hope you took note of the president's speech yesterday in Kansa ... More >>
Kelsey FosterBrady Williams, with visions of a Tom Waits Gumbo dancing in his head.In part one of our three parter, Oddfellows Chef Brady Williams told us about his icy road to cooking, while part two covered his take on the Dallas food scene. Today we learn a little about how he runs things ... More >>
While there's practically an infinite number of ways a band can generate great word of mouth for themselves in this age of social networking, digital distribution and the star-making blogosphere, it seems as though good, old-fashioned touring is as reliable a generator as any. Springfield, Missouri' ... More >>
And Schutze and I were just talking about Steve Bartlett. Then a Friend of Unfair Park goes and sends this piece posted a little while ago to The New York Times's website about how the former mayor of Dallas (twixt Strauss and Kirk, for those new to town or who just plain forgot, and how could yo ... More >>
It's already started!It's that time of the year again, when the heat has all of our teenage angst at an all-time high. The folks behind the Vans Warped Tour planned accordingly with this year's installment of the fest, which will be at Gexa Energy Pavilion today. So, if you're extremely pissed at ... More >>
If you care at all about the fate of the Dallas Independent School District, carve out an hour over the weekend. Then, jump to the other side of this item, where I've posted the entirety of the school board budget discussion to which I referred yesterday (down below too). Now, fair warning: It's ... More >>
Two experiences over the weekend have given me hope. One was watching a documentary on the catastrophic 1911 Triangle Waist Factory Fire in New York, and the other was a seminar I attended on the state budget crisis. Debacles can be good for us. The documentary made an argument that the sh ... More >>
I remember Dad taking me a high-school football game to old P.C. Cobb Stadium, and I saw the Dallas/Fort Worth Spurs play minor-league baseball at Turnpike Stadium. What I don't remember is something called the Dallas Submarines. Apparently they evolved into the Dallas Steers? P.C. Cobb is n ... More >>
Hal Samples Craig CunninghamCraig Cunningham of Dallas has an interesting way of dealing with debt collectors: He sues them, as documented in this week's paper version of Unfair Park. While only a small number of debtors file such lawsuits, the debt collection industry isn't waiting for su ... More >>
Visit the cars you dream of someday owning
Speaking, as we were below, of The Great Depression II: Electric Boogaloo, Forbes asked some of the wealthiest folks in the U.S. and A. to predict where the economy's headed in the coming year. Among those to respond to the survey was Mark Cuban, who offers his prophecy in terms easily understood by ... More >>
Dallas Parkway-based Leadsonline.com got an awfully nice plug in today's New York Times piece about the rise in shoplifting during The Great Depression II: Electric Boogaloo. And what, exactly, does the company do? Helps retailers and law enforcement officials track stolen goods as they surface onli ... More >>
Bad news this afternoon from Kurt Kleinmann, whose Pegasus Theatre has been coloring its stage productions a distinctly retro shade of gray since 1986: There will be no new "In Living Black and White" production next month at the Charles W. Eisemann Center in Richardson, where, last December, Kleinm ... More >>
Lily Tomlin, still a concerned citizen for Jenny Good Lord, it's been ages (before the Great Depression of '08!) since we've mentioned Jenny the Elephant, who the Dallas Zoo decided back in August to keep here rather than ship off to Mexico or Tennessee. But that hasn't stopped the Concerned Citizen ... More >>
Reminds me of when Ameriquest sponsored the Rangers' ballpark. Except Man U doesn't suck. While yesterday pondering what it’s going to be like during next week's dawning of this century's Great Depression, I stumbled upon a Champions League footie match on ESPN2 featuring Manchester United and ... More >>
"The Return of Ross Perot?" asks a The New York Times blog post this morning -- which means, awesome, it's time to whip out my ironically purchased Ross for Boss T-shirt that's held up remarkably well 16 years later. The Times site actually links to David Broder's Washington Post column from yesterd ... More >>
A few days before Memorial Day, Los Angeles-based preservationist Susan Deal Booth has posted to The Huffington Post an essay about her father, World War II veteran Harry William Deal, who served aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise. Susan also runs a publishing house, through which she just published her f ... More >>
Hard-sell coin dealers make chump change
FDR clowns around at Stone Street
Malvina Reynolds and Harry Smith argue for folk's historical authenticity. Whatever that is.